‘The Walking Dead’: Lennie James Reveals Why He Left the Show for ‘Fear the Walking Dead’

Fear the Walking Dead is back and it may be the most exciting season yet, thanks to the crossover with The Walking Dead. Initially, fans thought Abraham would be the character to crossover, but it turns out it’s going to be Morgan.

This raises a few questions, like what does this mean for Morgan’s future on The Walking Dead? What will Morgan be like in this new timeline? Is there still any hope for other characters to cross between shows?

Well, actor Lennie James has been trying to answer some of these questions. Here are seven things to know, including why James decided to leave the show for Fear the Walking Dead (page 5).

1. Morgan will be on both shows in the future

Morgan Jones stands in the woods holding a brown stick.

Morgan Jones will continue to appear on both shows. | AMC

It seemed like only a matter of time for a character to crossover between The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. But many fans didn’t know what to make of the news that it would be Morgan. Chief content officer Scott M. Gimple assured fans he will be on both shows.

“Even though Morgan is going to be featured on Fear, he has a lot of story left on The Walking Dead,” Gimple said in a statement. “Morgan’s arch on The Walking Dead Season 8 positioned him for the story on Fear.

Gimple also teased how this will change the dynamic on the spinoff show. “It was also important to see Fear‘s world and characters through new yet familiar eyes.”

Next: This is the part of Morgan’s story we will see on Fear the Walking Dead.

2. Morgan’s storyline will get a new start on Fear the Walking Dead

Morgan crouches down as he looks out the vehicle window.

You’ll see a side of Morgan you’ve never seen before. | AMC

Since Fear the Walking Dead is a prequel series, this means we will be seeing Morgan’s story before we met him on the original show.

Gimple said his story “…begins again in the upcoming season of Fear the Walking Dead, pushing the series — and The Walking Dead universe itself — into new directions and possibilities.”

Next: Morgan’s introduction won’t be smooth.

3. The inclusion of Morgan will lead to conflict and friendship

Morgan, wearing a tan jacket, and aiming a gun straight ahead of him with his right hand

He’s going to stir up some trouble. | AMC

Morgan won’t immediately get along with characters on Fear the Walking Dead. This new dynamic is teased in the Season 4 synopsis.

It reads, “The characters’ immediate pasts mix with an uncertain present of struggle and discovery as they meet new friends, foes and threats. They fight for each other, against each other and against a legion of the dead to somehow build an existence against the crushing pressure of lives coming apart.”


Next: This is who came up with the idea of the crossover.

4. James said Scott Gimple approached him with the idea

Scott Gimple and Lennie James posing together at Comic Con.

Scott Gimple and Lennie James | Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

It seems like Gimple was the one who got James to think about crossing over on the show.

James told Digital Spy:

[Gimple] talked about his new role of overseeing both shows and then he said “How would you like to continue the story of Morgan in Fear the Walking Dead?” We just started talking about it over the next couple of weeks and months as there was a lot to take on board. It wasn’t a case of “This is going to happen,’ it was genuinely a case of what I thought about it. There was absolutely a choice.”

Next: James said this about other characters crossing over.

5. Morgan was the only character up for the crossover

Morgan stands wearing a jacket and backpack.

Morgan was a great character for this crossover. | AMC

It seems like Morgan was the only character producers had in mind for switching shows.

“It also wasn’t a case of it being if it wasn’t me or it wasn’t Morgan then it would be somebody else,” James told Digital Spy. “They were very much saying, ‘We were thinking about doing this thing and if you’re really not up for it, then we’ll go a completely different direction.'”

Next: This is what James teased about the new story.

6. James says he’s still getting comfortable with the new cast

Lennie James

Lennie James is still getting used to the new show. | AMC

Many actors would find it strange to be playing the same character, but on a different show with a new cast. James told Entertainment Weekly that he’s still adjusting, saying:

Well, part of the story of this first season is, in part, about Morgan’s uncomfortability. So that’s still part of my working day. We’re a lot more situated now than we were when we last spoke, and we’re forming ourselves into a family, both in front of the camera and behind the camera, and all of that is going really well.

Because it was such a big change for all of us with the relocating of the show and the integrating of new cast members with existing cast members. Bringing together a new crew. It’s still getting settled, but we’re having a lot of fun getting it done.

7. James teases a well thought-out journey for Morgan

Lennie Jamie speaking on stage during a WonderCon panel.

Lennie James assured everyone that it will be a great watch. | Jesse Grant/Getty Images for AMC

James is assuring fans that this story is a good one and not just a stunt crossover. “The springboard that goes from The Walking Dead to Fear is a real…” he said, according to Comic Book “He goes with some kind of trajectory.”

He also added, “It is a full, well-thought out journey that Morgan goes on. A lot of it is tied to his relationship with Rick. A lot of it is tied to his relationship to this group of people that he feels conflicted about caring for and wanting to protect.”

Follow Nicole Weaver on Twitter @nikkibernice.

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